Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

Here's my microcosm of experience. I was working as a freelance module writer in the 3.5 era. I had published a campaign adventure with Necromancer Games, which was pretty well received. I was about 60% complete on what would've been a massive hardcover setting /campaign book I was going to submit to NG when 4e was announced.
I started updating it to PF when that system was released. But then fast forward to "real life" happening, and I lost most of the work. Then 5E was announced.
I started rewriting it for 5E, play testing, etc. And something just felt off. I am sure I can make it fit into 5E, but honestly the OGL for 5E is so limiting that I'm going to have to build a lot of the content from scratch. And if you don't set it in the Forgotten Realms and sell on DMs Guild, you can use even less content from WotC.
Perusing PF2 and the wealth of content they have open to designers, I'm now thinking this might be the system to use to publish this adventure. There's so much more to work with than 5e from a open content perspective. And it seems a little more streamlined than PF1.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
, but 4e Martial Practices were a lot worse!
They take more than a little fixing but I think can be quite worth it (I have a thread around here). Had they been given appropriate attention and paid attention to DMG2 skill challenge guidelines in the first place instead of left as rituals lesser cousins with no development at all.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
Paizo is reacting to the vocal group of players who thinks 5e is too simple and want (at least the illusion of) customization and depth. They also want to fix the inherent flaws of 3e that have plagued the game, such as magic item math and attack/save scaling. If you want to fix the inherent math problems but also keep the game with multiple choice points per level, you end up with something similar to 4e. Paizo us hoping that avoiding ADEU and including vancian magic is enough to thread the needle.
Yup; exactly this. In fact, I talked to two players who I met at a PF2 table yesterday and they both said essentially this. They liked 5E, but found it a little too simple and were looking for something more in the 3.5 style but better -- exactly where Paizo want to be. They cannot compete with 5e, so they need to offer something that is similar, but offers an advantage 5e does not.
 

Remus Lupin

Adventurer
As to the question of market fragmentation. I don't think the issue is, "Is the market MORE fragmented than it was when 4e was introduced." I think the issue is "Is the market more fragmented than when 3.5 was prominent," and 5e notwithstanding, I think the answer is clearly yes, and there is a market segment that will be attracted to PF2.

As to the relative virtues of 5e vs. PF2, I have to say that I find 5e to be really anemic with regard to class and character options. Every character is pretty much a minor variation on a core, with little opportunity for customization. What I like about PF2 is that it offers me lots more genuine options for customization right out of the box. There are LOTS of ways to be a rogue, whereas in 5e there are three or so. I like that.

I understand others may prefer it the way 5e is doing it. That's why I'm glad there are more options out there to play than just 5e.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
As to the relative virtues of 5e vs. PF2, I have to say that I find 5e to be really anemic with regard to class and character options. Every character is pretty much a minor variation on a core, with little opportunity for customization. What I like about PF2 is that it offers me lots more genuine options for customization right out of the box. There are LOTS of ways to be a rogue, whereas in 5e there are three or so. I like that.
Just for the rogue -> Factor in the 5e backgrounds and this is clearly not true. Factor in the subclasses from Xanathar's and your claim is patently untrue and disingenuous.
 

Remus Lupin

Adventurer
Yeah, I don't use Xanathar's guide. Don't want to. Haven't read it. Don't want to. Furthermore, I was just pulling rogue out as an example. I could have picked any other class. It really doesn't matter, because it still stands that the PF core offers me a great deal more in terms of options and customization, and I don't need to buy another book.

But sure, go ahead and throw around terms like "disingenuous." Because its impossible for someone to disagree with you without being dishonest, oh you paragon of virtue!
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Just for the rogue -> Factor in the 5e backgrounds and this is clearly not true. Factor in the subclasses from Xanathar's and your claim is patently untrue and disingenuous.
Obviously he is trying to express something about his preference. He might not have stated his case in the best way. That does not mean he is not being earnest.

When one looks at Pathfinder Second Edition it is obvious that the developers made being able to play exactly the character you want to play a high priority. It has extremely modular character design. Some regard this as a virtue.

Fifth Edition has a less modular approach to character design. The vast majority of what defines your character resides in class and subclass. Some people also consider this a virtue.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Yeah, I don't use Xanathar's guide. Don't want to. Haven't read it. Don't want to. Furthermore, I was just pulling rogue out as an example. I could have picked any other class. It really doesn't matter, because it still stands that the PF core offers me a great deal more in terms of options and customization, and I don't need to buy another book.

But sure, go ahead and throw around terms like "disingenuous." Because its impossible for someone to disagree with you without being dishonest, oh you paragon of virtue!
When you refuse to engage with the material and then claim that 5e is really anemic with class and character options that is disingenuous. And is completely and utterly untrue.
It is the same as having come to an unchangeable and stubbornly unshakable position with only a small fraction of evidence.
 

Remus Lupin

Adventurer
Xenonnonex, ignored.

By all means, use the ignore function to avoid escalating tempers with other posters. HOWEVER, announcing you’re ignoring someone is a classic method of subverting the intent of the system.
DON’T DO THIS.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
Obviously he is trying to express something about his preference. He might not have stated his case in the best way. That does not mean he is not being earnest.

When one looks at Pathfinder Second Edition it is obvious that the developers made being able to play exactly the character you want to play a high priority. It has extremely modular character design. Some regard this as a virtue.

Fifth Edition has a less modular approach to character design. The vast majority of what defines your character resides in class and subclass. Some people also consider this a virtue.
Rather, the vast majority of what defines a 5E PC is divorced from mechanics, and resides in personality and background detail. The mechanics bits are Race, Class, Subclass and Background (Feats, if you like that optional rule: I personally dislike Feats and prefer to never use them). The use of broad archetypes for the mechanical aspect allows for freedom on the narrative side.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Rather, the vast majority of what defines a 5E PC is divorced from mechanics, and resides in personality and background detail. The mechanics bits are Race, Class, Subclass and Background (Feats, if you like that optional rule: I personally dislike Feats and prefer to never use them). The use of broad archetypes for the mechanical aspect allows for freedom on the narrative side.
Personally one of the things I like Pathfinder Second Edition is the way the class feats embed the mentality of the class into play. The mechanics help your Barbarian feel arrogant, reckless, and angry. The Ranger feels like a determined hunter who will seek their prey to the ends of the earth. The fighter feels disciplined and adaptable. To me it really delivers on the fantasy of each class.

At the same time I like how within the conceptual space of each class there is room to refine the kind of character I want to play. My Barbarian is a displaced noble Chelaxian noble who submerged in the blood of a red dragon as a baby. He has the social skills to back that concept up. This is backed up by his choice of Raging Intimidation which allows him to intimidate his foes with just a stare even when in the throes of his dragon rage. He has the red dragon instinct which means if he lets a personal insult go unchallenged he loses the power of the instinct temporarily. He blames the dragon for his cruel fate so it is also Anathema to him to fail to defeat any red dragon who crosses his path.

While I do not find it to be the best way to analyze play here is the result of a Robin Laws Player Type Quiz I recently took:
  • Method Actor 92%
  • Storyteller 83%
  • Tactician 83%
  • Power Gamer 58%
  • Casual Gamer 21%
  • Butt Kicker 17%
  • Specialist 17%
I feel the following capture my play preferences better:

When playing role playing games the feeling of sitting inside my character's skin is paramount to me. I want to feel what my character is feeling and see the world as they see it. This is what The Gamer Motivation Profile calls Fantasy. However it very important to me to get a chance to handcraft the sort of character I want to play. This includes personality and connections to the setting (I despise the term backstory - this should not be back matter). It also includes a chance to handcraft what they are capable of doing, especially outside of combat. This is what the Gamer Motivation Profile calls Design. I want to take ownership of the whole of my character.

Gamer Motivation Profile said:
Fantasy (92%): Gamers who score high on Fantasy want their gaming experiences to allow them to become someone else, somewhere else. They enjoy the sense of being immersed in an alter ego in a believable alternate world, and enjoy exploring a game world just for the sake of exploring it. These gamers enjoy games like Skyrim, Fallout, and Mass Effect for their fully imagined alternate settings.

Design (90%): Gamers who score high on this component want to actively express their individuality in the game worlds they find themselves in. In games like Mass Effect, they put a lot of time and effort in the character creation process. In city-building games or space strategy games, they take the time to design and customize exactly how their city or spaceships look. To this end, they prefer games that provide the tools and assets necessary to make this possible and easy to do.
I personally find that as long as the mechanics are firmly grounded in the fiction these mechanical choices can help me feel like my character more fully and think about who I want them to be. Engaging with them in play can help reinforce the feel of my character, helping me feel the emotions my character should be feeling.

That might not be the case for you personally, but that's why it is a good thing we have a wealth of choices.
 
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As to the question of market fragmentation. I don't think the issue is, "Is the market MORE fragmented than it was when 4e was introduced." I think the issue is "Is the market more fragmented than when 3.5 was prominent," and 5e notwithstanding, I think the answer is clearly yes, and there is a market segment that will be attracted to PF2.
There was a lot of bandwagon-jumping as open-source d20 recaptured market & headspace leadership in the early oughts, so I suppose that's not entirely unfair. The hobby, though, once you start looking beyond D&D and whatever challenger is had at the time, has long been quite fragmented & very 'niche.' There's absolutely a niche out there for PF2, and it's unlikely to be a small one (relative to non-D&D RPGs, relative to D&D, of course, they're all small). Of course, PF1 /was/ D&D for a few years, there, so that 5e has reclaimed the D&D mantle might be an adjustment...

As to the relative virtues of 5e vs. PF2, I have to say that I find 5e to be really anemic with regard to class and character options. Every character is pretty much a minor variation on a core, with little opportunity for customization. What I like about PF2 is that it offers me lots more genuine options for customization right out of the box. There are LOTS of ways to be a rogue, whereas in 5e there are three or so. I like that.
The basic three ways to be a rogue - sneaky DPR, sneaky DPR & half-caster, and … OK, IDK, what you consider the third one (Thief & Assassin don't /seem/ that different, Mastermind is helpful DPR, I guess... there are other sub-classes out there). But, whatever the three flavors of Rogue 5e has goin', what are some additional ones PF2 offers?



Quoting from another thread, but...
And my point was that Paizo overcorrected their wizards. To the point where you are having more fun emulating a martial.
The traditional wizard has been overshadowed by martials and casters trying to be martial lites.
….replace 'Paizo' with WotC...
and...
Arcane casters used to be on top of the caster hierarchy with spells that were demonstrably better than what other casters could provide. With the new curated spell lists that is no longer the case. Bards are now full casters who have access to some of the arcane caster's best stuff when it comes to buffs, debuffs, and disabling mental effects. Druids now have access to the same elemental spells that wizards have. I think the arcane casters are fine, but they are no longer top dogs.
...we could be discussing 4e in Sept 2008.

So, yes, it seems PF2 may have touched the same third rail as 4e did.

But, PF2 doesn't need to pull in $50 mil to win 'core brand' status, and PF is no longer carrying the real-D&D torch, so it might, like many a like-D&D-but-better FRPG before it, actually get away with it.
 
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Remus Lupin

Adventurer
And just for the record: I still disagree. The way that options are parsed in 5e feels paltry to me even when you take account of supplementary sources. Meanwhile, I think that Paizo's options are robust right out of the box, without me having to go out and invest in supplementary sources just to have the kind of flexibility in character creation that should be baseline.

And, I'll also add that when we discussed this around my 5e table, everyone agreed. You basically get three flavors of every kind of character with 5e. With PF2, the default provides many more options.

Some people prefer it one way, some the other, but it's a genuine issue, not "disingenuous" to express. I've never said anyone should do anything other than play the game they prefer. And PF2 certainly has a ready market in those of us who are less than fulfilled by 5e's approach.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
And just for the record: I still disagree. The way that options are parsed in 5e feels paltry to me even when you take account of supplementary sources. Meanwhile, I think that Paizo's options are robust right out of the box, without me having to go out and invest in supplementary sources just to have the kind of flexibility in character creation that should be baseline.

And, I'll also add that when we discussed this around my 5e table, everyone agreed. You basically get three flavors of every kind of character with 5e. With PF2, the default provides many more options.

Some people prefer it one way, some the other, but it's a genuine issue, not "disingenuous" to express. I've never said anyone should do anything other than play the game they prefer. And PF2 certainly has a ready market in those of us who are less than fulfilled by 5e's approach.
Hey no one can argue with how you feel about the options in 5e... the issue is when you start making definite statements like the "3 flavors" comment and it's demonstrably false. thief, assassin, swashbuckler, mastermind, spellthief, etc are all different archetypes that play differently and feel differently in the game. That's the issue some are having with your statements (which you restated in the above post), the fact that they are outright false.

EDIT: Well that and the fact that you chose to ignore option sources while making a general statement about the lack of options in the game.
 

Remus Lupin

Adventurer
Having played the game bi-weekly for several years now, and having created dozens of characters, and having watched the other players in my game create dozens of characters, and having seen, repeatedly, the same three flavors of every class, with only the occasional exception, I stand by my statement.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Having played the game bi-weekly for several years now, and having created dozens of characters, and having watched the other players in my game create dozens of characters, and having seen, repeatedly, the same three flavors of every class, with only the occasional exception, I stand by my statement.
And your statement is provably wrong,
 

Parmandur

Legend
Hey no one can argue with how you feel about the options in 5e... the issue is when you start making definite statements like the "3 flavors" comment and it's demonstrably false. thief, assassin, swashbuckler, mastermind, spellthief, etc are all different archetypes that play differently and feel differently in the game. That's the issue some are having with your statements (which you restated in the above post), the fact that they are outright false.

EDIT: Well that and the fact that you chose to ignore option sources while making a general statement about the lack of options in the game.
For me, the bigger thing is...Backgrounds. There are hundreds of thousands of characters in the PHB based on Race/Subclass/Background combinations, before you even consider the totals for Ideals/Bonds/Flaws. That stuff is more interesting for making different characters to me.
 

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